I wrote about smoking laws a few days back and got a lot of comments, mostly angry ones. I answered many of these comments with my own comments but people typically don't read those and I keep getting the same accusations and derisions, so I thought I'd post my updated thoughts about smoking laws here.
1. Yes, I agree that second-hand smoke can be a health hazard. My argument is that occasionally passing a person on the street who is smoking will not give you cancer. (Note to asthma sufferers: I'm not talking about asthma here.)
2. I do NOT believe that ALL restaurants and bars should allow smoking. I hated those days, too. I'm saying that ALL restaurants and bars should not be REQUIRED to ban it. Most people do not like smoke and would choose smoke-free establishments so there would be plenty of them to choose from. Simple supply and demand. A small percentage would allow smoking, thus giving waitpersons and bartenders plenty of options for working in a smoke-free environment or one that allows smoking. (Note to anyone feeling indignation at this moment: I am NOT saying that you or your loved ones will have to work in a smoke-filled room. This is purely conjecture on my part. Just my opinion; life isn't perfect, neither am I.)
3. I do NOT deny that smoking is a health hazard. My point is only that it is a long-term hazard for some people, not a death sentence for anyone who smells it wafting by on a windy day.
4. Yes, smoke smells bad to non-smokers. That's reason enough to ban it in public buildings. You're right. I agree. We smokers are despicable.
I hope this decree is taken in the spirit of reconciliation in which it is intended. Yes, I smoke cigars, but I won't do it in your home, church or place of business unless you invite me to.
Thanks for reading and please don't hate me. Now check out the next post, which features a cartoon.